Tuesday, June 2, 2009

To you, our Lim Yu Vern

14 October 1992 - 30 May 2009

Dear Vern.

There’s only so much you could say about a person, but it’ll still never say enough. I’ve not known you as long as other people, but in the 4 years of our friendship, I’m glad to say that we got to be as close as we could. You were the first guy I noticed in school.

When we first chatted, the topic of the similarity in our names came up. I told you how my mum wanted to change it to mandarin, so it would be Yu Fern instead of Fun. You said I was copying you, but it was still pretty cool. We talked more ever since. I always wondered why you were so white.

Beginning of the year in 06. The guys played a prank on me and I hated it, but you insisted you didn’t take part in it. I was happy about that. I enjoyed hearing your recordings of Weird Al Yankovic songs and of you playing the guitar. Sometimes you’d bully and make fun of me, other times we’d just talk to pass the time. Someone was in a bad mood and told me I had pissed her off. But you made it all better when you told me I’d never annoyed you. Gosh, I wish I still have our convos.

Dear Vern.

You were one of the few ones who didn’t assume or go against me when he and I parted. Instead, you called me SiL and proceeded to pester me. When you tried teaching me mandarin, you only said sick things which I couldn’t even understand. When you guys left to SES, we grew a bit distant, but our inconstant MSN chats still remained the same.

I don’t know how to describe our friendship. In all the years, I never questioned or thought about it like I have with others. We talked when we talked, and we didn’t when we didn’t. We told each other stuff when we asked. There weren’t any awkward silences or uncomfortable moments. I guess it felt very real. You were like my brother. You’re still like my brother. The one I never had.

Dear Vern.

Before you left for Penang, we, and Meg, had lunch together. It’s something I’ll never forget. I thought to myself, I’d love to hang out like this more often when you come back, because it was close, and comforting. When you left, we talked less but the one trademark of yours I’ll keep with me always is when you’d come online and immediately greet me: “Sophie !! DL SONG FOR ME D:” Once, I complained that that was all you’d care to talk to me about, and you said the usual “sorry la !”
At least I could threaten you by not wanting to download for you.

You returned from Penang and we had a reunion. It was so nice to see you again, though I thought you were a little insane with all your piercings. I also teased you. You threw a pillow at me, making me spill Coke on the floor. I felt guilty, but I blamed you anyway.
I wouldn’t have left early if I knew that would be the last time I’d ever see you.

Dear Vern.

I think I was almost hyperventilating and at a loss for words when I was with Ro as you confessed to her. If my happiness was that great, I couldn’t imagine the effect it had on both of you. She and I talked till after 4 AM and even then, I didn’t feel tired at all. I could imagine you smiling as we talked about her the very next day and after that, we chatted quite regularly as before.
On the 27th, as usual, you asked me to download Shayne Ward’s No Promises for you. Then you told me a funny little secret. I thought you were the sweetest guy on earth.

Those were your last words to me.

Dear Vern.

I received a call. I didn’t believe it. I couldn’t. I wish I could ‘un-hear’ what I just heard. No no no, it can’t be. I was shocked, my mind was running through thousands of images of you. I was shaking all over and I immediately dialled your number. No. No way. Not this Vern. Not our Vern. Never in a million years our Vern.

It kept ringing. Why the heck didn’t you pick up?

I panicked, I called Ter. Still, I couldn’t believe it, but the tears came anyway. I was forced to utter the two words I wished I never had to say. There wasn’t even a way around it -- there weren’t any other words that could’ve meant the same thing.
I was in plain cold shock. I didn’t believe it -- I didn’t WANT to. Even as I called her and cried with her, when I had to explain to her mom, when Vonn came over, when we were in the coffee shop, hesitating to go to your house. I couldn’t believe there was a sign. It shouldn’t be there. It shouldn’t.

Dear Vern.

I finally saw you.
The others were crying, but in my mind, the words kept running through repeatedly - “That’s not Vern. That’s NOT Vern. It does not look like him. It’s not him, it can’t be. I want Vern back.” You looked so different. I had to keep looking just to make sure it was really you.

The service started and I learned some things about you. You sounded so cute as a baby and I never knew you went for cell group. Even then, you still surprised us all. When your sister and brother mentioned about your familiar traits and what you used to say, I smiled to myself. Oh god, it hurts.

I had to call Ro after everything was over. It cut to hear her cry - you’d never want her to.

I went to your memorial service the second time. I managed a few words for you, but it wasn’t enough. I wanted to say so many things, let everyone know how much of a blessing you’ve been… but I was choked up. How could I depict something that was so indescribable? Words could never say enough. Vonn, Zoe and I stayed up and talked about you, you know? How vain you were, how you knew you were handsome but you didn’t want to admit it anyway, and how you got away with calling almost every girl ‘fatfat’. You were so cute.

Dear Vern.

You were wearing that same white shirt and ripped jeans that Ro and I thought you looked so good in. They were going to send you into the cremation room and I lost it, Vern. You looked like you, you were so close, I wanted to wake you up and hug you. I cried so hard, Vern, you know? I tried not to. I wanted to look at your face, memorize every detail, so I could remember and tell Ro. I clung on to the closest comfort I had and didn’t let go.

Not our Vern. Not our precious Vern.

Are you gone? I don’t know. I haven’t said goodbye, Vern. I’m not ready yet. I don’t understand, I want so many things, to be selfish and get God to bring you back. Why, why you, why the irony and coincidences, why so soon. It hurts so bad when you need answers you know you can’t get.
Vernie Vern. I miss you so so so much. I’ve never lost someone so close to me before. I never understood the pain and heart break. Now I do. And Vern, I admire your family so much. They’re so open and so comforting, I’m glad I got to know them.

Dear Vern.

There are too many things I want to say, so many things I want to tell you. It feels so long, vern... so long since you smsed or im-ed me. So long since i had to open my limewire just for you. I don’t know how to end this, but I think I have to. You’re forever in my heart, our hearts. Eventually, I’ll find the right words and eventually, I’ll be ready to say goodbye.

Vernibles. I miss you, you know that right?
I love you. My friend, my ‘BiL’, my brother. Our Yu Vern.

yuvern: tat pic... 1 utama?
Soph: nope. 1u where got look liddat wan
yuvern: pyramid?
Soph: noo
yuvern: erm... Roanne HOUSE?
Soph: no
yuvern: your apartment?
Soph: nop
Soph: no O_o
yuvern: OOOOOOOH

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